It was bad for Krista Pärmäkoski: “You cut it”

Expert Reijo Jylhä analyzes Kollen’s Saturday topics.

Holmenkollen Saturday’s most dramatic moment for Finns was seen after the traditional 50-kilometer joint start race, when Krista Pärmäkoski momentarily lost the ability to walk.

Iltalehti’s skiing expert Reijo Jylhä tells with decades of endurance sports experience, what is the plot of humpa.

– It’s about muscle strain and fluid deficit. A similar thing to a car engine: when the oil runs out, the engine cuts out, Jylhä says.

This is what it’s all about

Krista Pärmäkoski’s left leg cramped badly on Saturday in Oslo. PASI LEISMA

A similar incident happened to Jylhä once in a road cycling race, and the Central Ostrobothnia native couldn’t get out of the saddle.

– A cramp during skiing usually does not cause injury to the muscle. For fast runners, cramp comes from hard effort, and it is usually accompanied by a muscle tear, Jylhä estimates.

– In skiing, 50 kilometers is such a long distance that you get cramps. It’s usually not dangerous. It may be that the muscle hurts, but in a week Krista will be in full swing, she adds.

Pärmäkoski, who won the 20 km race in Lahti last weekend, ended up in tenth place on Saturday. Jylhä reminds that the Finn was not expected to finish at the very top before Saturday’s start.

– Krista’s condition has not disappeared anywhere in a week, but she has, without counting individual exceptions, often had challenges in 30 kilometer races as well.

Niskanen’s save win

Kerttu Niskanen skied fifth on Kollen. PASI LEISMA

Kerttu Niskanen was aiming for a pole position, but ended up fifth.

– A save win for Kertu. The performance did not last until the end. About four laps went well and in his thirties he would have fought to be in the top three, Jylhä estimates.

– Then the muscle became empty, and there was no more shock. The fact that he said he didn’t feel like going uphill skiing says a lot about the exhaustion of his muscles – then the muscles of the skier who enjoys the uphills have been quite empty, the expert adds.

Johanna Matintalo was eighth as the second best blue and white.

– It seems that from the end of the 2024 season, Johanna is strong on the traditional route rather than on the route.

This has been expected

Ebba Andersson (left) was second, Frida Karlsson won and Katharina Hennig was third in Saturday’s queen race. PASI LEISMA

When Therese Johaug ended his career at least for the time being in 2022, Sweden Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson was judged to dominate the women’s standard distance races. Andersson in particular has suffered a lot of health problems in the last two seasons, and Karlsson hasn’t been as strong as he should have been.

On Saturday in Oslo, the Swedes took a double victory, which in a certain way can be considered expected.

– When we are in hard enough terrain and the weather is heavy, Frida and Ebba are the best on normal trips. Of course Finns are strong in tradition. When we are in less modest terrains and fast winds, Swedish sprinters come out on top.

On Saturday, Karlsson broke away from the main group after 30 kilometers and held his ground until the finish line.

– It was impressive when Frida let go. The race was exceptionally tough when there was so much loose snow. Frida’s skiing was really on the trigger in the last 8.3 kilometer lap, whether she would go over – it didn’t quite go and she held the top spot.

Andersson settled for second place at the beginning of the last lap.

– Ebba’s skiing was similar to before Christmas in Trondheim. Even though Frida won, Ebba’s strong skiing could be distinguished by the eye, so to speak.

Andersson was strong in November-December, when he took a total of two victories and four podium places. After the star moments, the woman drifted into a spiral of health problems.

More fifties

50 kilometers is a valid competition for women, says Reijo Jylhä. Pasi Liesimaa

The differences in Saturday’s results were big. Pärmäkoski, who ended up in tenth place, lost four to the winner, and the woman in 20th place Silje Theodorsen about nine and rank 30 Caterina Ganz more than 12 minutes.

– Canada’s Sonja Schmidt, who is the sprint junior world champion and the jumbo of Saturday’s race, lost 22 minutes to Frida. It’s not very much. I don’t think the difference is too big. If you compare women and men, women are relatively closer to men in their fifties than in sprinting. The longer the journey, the closer the woman is to the man, comments Jylhä.

What is it about?

– Women’s way of doing consistent performance and enduring it is better than men’s. Men have more fast muscle cells. Men have more cramps and things that slow down performance. Women are inherently more resilient than men, Jylhä begins.

– When we go to ultra runs or other sports competitions in extreme conditions, women are relatively high compared to men. That also affects the fact that women’s muscle mass is smaller than men’s, the expert continues.

The women have skied a race of 50 kilometers at the mc level at Kollen last season in free and now traditional.

– Let’s continue, Jylhä says.


Oslo, women’s 50 km (p) mass start

1. Frida Karlsson SWE 2.20.20,3

2. Ebba Andersson SWE +1.19,3

3. Katharina Hennig GER +1.25,2

4. Teresa Stadlober AUT +1.25,4

5. Kerttu Niskanen FIN +1.33,2

6. Jonna Sundling SWE +1.35,5

8. Johanna Matintalo FIN +1.42,3

10. Krista Pärmäkoski FIN +3.59.1

27. Anne Kyllönen FIN +10.43.4

35. Kati Roivas FIN +13.59,2